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Lemurs on my toes

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | Views [385]

The weekend just past was my cousins 7th birthday. As she lives in Australia and we don't get to see her or her parents very often, my mum and I decided to go and visit them for a few days. We woke up at 4am to get to the airport and after a 4 hour flight we landed in Melbourne and started our car ride to their house.

Once we arrived, we all decided that after lunch we should head off to the Melbourne Zoo, as they had a family pass and my mum and I both thought that it would be nice for my cousin to show us around her territory. She was very excited and was planning which animals we would see first on the way.

At the zoo, we strolled around happily, peering into the reptile enclosures to find the hiding creatures and laughing as my cousin bent down close to the grass to kiss the snakes. That girl is fearless! We stayed for a while at the meerkat enclosure as they were attempting to dig their way out while one meerkat was standing on a big rock and alternating between looking at the digging and looking at the sky. It was like they were trying to escape.

The zoo trip was amazing and we had so many crazy close encounters with the animals.

First off, there was an enclosure called lemur island where you walked through a secure door and into a big netted space where lemurs were running around freely. Though we weren't allowed to touch them, they came right up close to the humans and quite happily ran inches past us, their tails whipping us as they went. My cousin was so enthralled with this that she got out her notebook and sat down in the path to start drawing the lemurs. After she finished her drawing, she showed it to one of the keepers, who asked what she called the lemur in her drawing. Apparently she chose "Stripey". The lovely keeper told her that maybe when they get some new lemurs in they'll call one of them Stripey.

Secondly, we visited the monkey enclosures, one of which contained two Gibbons which were flinging themselves around the branches with their ridiculously long arms. When the gibbons saw us through the glass, they made their way over to us and sat on a little ledge pressed up against the glass and looked at us. One man had his camera out and the gibbon looked at it directly for long enough for him to take a "gibbon selfie". Afterwards, the other gibbon put his hand up against the glass, so I pressed mine up to the other side. I was an inch away from holding hands with this monkey.

Our third close encounter was in the butterfly house where, if you sat for long enough, brilliantly coloured butterflies would float over and land on you. Unfortunately we didn't stay there for very long, but we all enjoyed seeing the pretty creatures flutter around.

After this, we went to the marine creatures enclosure, where I communicated with some penguins who were calling out. As I copied their noises, people laughed because I was so accurate with the imitation and the penguins started swimming around trying to find their lost friend that was making the noise.

Finally, we visited the seals. It was close to closing time, so we were worried they may have closed the enclosure, but we luckily managed to get there right at the end when the keepers were inspecting the seals and practicing all their tricks. We stayed for about 20 minutes watching the seals bark on command and jump onto various rocks and into the sky to hit a bucket hanging from the roof. It was pretty amaing to see just how many tricks the seals knew. I've always said that seals are just like mermaid dogs.

After the exhausting day at the zoo, we headed home for some dinner and a cuddle with the cats before we retired, excited for the day to come.

Tags: close encounters, fun, lemur, melbourne, seal, zoo


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